A person who suffers a spinal cord injury is likely going to have a host of medical interventions to undergo during the initial period after the accident. The primary goal is to protect the spinal cord and stabilize the patient. Once these are done, the medical team will move on to helping the person learn to live with the effects of the injury.

The initial stabilization can be scary because everything happens so fast. At the scene of the accident, paramedics will focus on trying to keep the spinal cord from moving. The method for doing this depends on where the damage to the spinal cord is located and what’s available. If a neck injury is suspected, the person might only have a cervical collar. If the back is the location, a special backboard will be utilized.

At the hospital, which will likely be a trauma center, the medical team will check various things all at the same time. This might be stressful and confusing because of all the activity, but it is imperative that they know what steps they need to take, so they don’t cause any harm and can adequately address the issues that are present.

The primary focus is going to be ensuring that the patient can breathe and that your vital life functions are taken care of. Attention will then move to the actual injury, which may require traction, surgery or medication to address. Most patients will begin therapy quickly after the accident.

Ultimately, treating a spinal cord injury is costly. People who are injured in an accident that was the result of another person’s negligence, such as a drunk driving crash, might opt to pursue a claim for compensation to help defray the costs.